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Pine Acres Restaurant the Tobacco Drive In and Mrs. High’s Dining Room

Today’s feature images contain three restaurants with parking areas in front of the facilities located in the State of North Carolina. The colorful lead postcard photo contains the Pine Acres Restaurant. The eatery was next to the Pine Acres Hotel in Laurinburg. The facility that does not appear to have survived and was established in southeastern North Carolina, only a few miles north of the border of shared with South Carolina.

Share with us what you find of interest and the vehicles you can identify in the photographs courtesy of DigitalNC.

  • The Tobacco Drive In ironically was located in the town of Tarboro, NC, about fifteen miles east of the City of Rocky Mount. The photo is by Milton Steele.

  • Mrs. High’s Dining Room was in Carolina Beach, which is situated on Pleasure Island off of the State coastline in southeastern portion of the State. The postcard image is by Frank Trexler.


40 responses to “Pine Acres Restaurant the Tobacco Drive In and Mrs. High’s Dining Room

  1. It looks like High’s was located in a converted garage.

    And the signage on the roof of the Pine Acres restaurant in the lead shot caught my eye. I’ve sometimes seen town names emblazoned on the roofs of buildings — there was one in Falls, Pennsylvania when I was growing up. Was this intended as a navigation aid for aircraft, back when they flew at 5,000 feet instead of 30,000?

  2. Could that 55 Cadillac Sixty Special belong to Miss Daisy and her chauffeur Hoke stopping for a snack on their way to some other adventure?

  3. I don’t know how you keep coming up with such great pictures, Dave, but they are fantastic.
    First pic, ’53 merc,? ’55 cadillac, ’55 chevy, ’55 or ’56 ford, and ’50’s nash. A good sampling of manufacturers. The cadillac is the only hardtop.
    2nd pic. A sandwich shop and a cigarette shop, or is it just located on tobacco road?
    3rd pic. Also a good sampling with Chrysler Corporation entering the picture with the very nice New Yorker or Imperial.

    • Egads, at 70 my eyesight must be going or you’re having me on. I don’t see a Chrysler product in the 3rd picture. Are you sure you weren’t influenced by the name of the Dining Room, Tom?

      • Hi Richard, I believe the green car in the 3rd pic next to the ’61 Chevy is an early 50’s Chrysler something.

        • Right you are, Howard. Google images says it’s 54 New Yorker by the roofline and tail lights. I guess I’m still going to need glasses. I thought it was an early 50’s Chevy.

    • Unlike the so-called “coupes” built today, that Cadillac 60 Special Sedan was very much a sedan, not a hardtop.

      While GM had first shown 4-door pillar-less hardtops as Cadillacs (the Orleans showcar in 1953 and one 129″ DeVille hardtop sedan “production prototype” in 1954 [1954 Park Avenue concept had framed side glass…]),
      1955 Cadillac 6019s were 6-window pillared sedans. Interestingly, GM’s first “for-sale” 4-door hardtops were not Cadillacs, but were Oldsmobiles (122″ 88 and Super 88) and 126″ 98) and Buicks (122″ 40 [Special] and 60 [Century] {but no 127″ 70 [Roadmaster]}), which meant that Cadillac 4-door hardtops did not appear until MY 1956 — the same year that all GM Divisions had 4-door hardtops.

      And their styling caught up with 1949-1950 Kaiser-Frazer, which had the Manhattan Convertible Sedan, the Deluxe Convertible Sedan and the Virginian “faux convertible” which, at introduction, was named “Hard Top.”

      Yes, they had framed glass and they had fixed glass pillars, but once again, the independents had led the Big 3.

    • That was tobacco country in that part of North Carolina. The name probably just reflects the economy at the time. Nice pictures.

      • Just so you fellows know…The second pic of the drive in was taken in my hometown looong before I was born. It was a sandwich-cola shop named Tobacco Drive In because it is located next to where tobacco was auctioned in the heart of Tobacco/Cotton country. Many, many years later the establishment was known as Tobacco Drive In Tavern and was a real hole-in-the-wall kind of place full of some shady characters. After Hurricane Floyd flooded the area, the place was closed. Think it was bull-dosed, not sure.

        Oh, well, a bit of history.
        Blessed day to all!

  4. In the lead photo I see a ‘53 Mercury, ’55 Cadillac 60 Special, a ‘55 Chevy Two-Ten, a ’55 Ford Fairlane Town Sedan and a ’49-’51 Nash, probably a Statesman.

      • I think Pat W called it correctly, it is a 53 Mercury. The badging is hard to read but I can make out “Merc-O-Matic” on the deck lid right side. Off topic: Ford Motor offered Ford-O-Matic, Merc-O-Matic but no Linc-O-Matic? Oh wait, Lincoln bought their transmissions (Hydra-Matic) from GM. Wise decision at the time but the unfortunately the Livonia Michigan Hydramatic plant suffered a serious fire in 1953. I’ll bet that curtailed production.

        • My uncle bought a ’54 Pontiac that was equipped with a Dynaflow due to the fire. He couldn’t wait to trade that for a 1956 pink and black Sedan DeVille.

  5. The all black 1955 Cadillac isn’t sporting factory rear air conditioner intakes so, unless it is equipped with aftermarket A/C, it’ll be a hot one on many Carolina summer days. At least the Mercury, Chevy and Ford have white roofs that will reflect some of the sunshine heat . The bathtub Nash: it may well get to be like a steamy bathtub inside.

  6. A 1938 Buick is parked right in front of the Tobacco Drive in. It looks like a 1965 Corvette in front of Mrs. High’s, making the photo later than I first thought.

  7. In photo #2 a ’61 Bel Air, possibly a ’53 Imperial, a ’58 Olds Super 88 (if I’m seeing the broader chrome above the C-pillar…otherwise an 88) a ’55 Ford Fairlane Crown Victoria and a Corvette convertible, maybe a ’65.

  8. There’s a 58 Oldsmobile in the last photo. Every time I see one of these I’m reminded of Bruce McCall’s 58 Bulgemobile. If you’re not familiar with it, do a Google search. It’s a hoot.

  9. Re: Photo# 1.
    Granddaughter while riding in a car with grandmother: “We studied lightning rods in school yesterday, gram.. Look! There’s one on that house”.
    Grandmother” That’s a TV antenna, dear”.
    Granddaughter: ” A What?”

  10. Egads, Richard, I hope my eyesight is not failing at the young age of 74. You may want to take another look at the Chrysler in the third photo.

    • I stand corrected, Tom. It’s a 54 New Yorker (tail lights) according to Google. I thought it was a early ’50’s Chevy. Will you drive me to the eye doctors?

  11. 1st Photo — the ’55 Chevy is a lower priced 210 two-door sedan rather than the BelAir we usually think of. It has the 265 cubic inch V-8 engine (symbols below the tail-lights) so was kind of a “sleeper” performance model. The Caddy Fleetwood without AC was more common than you would think, even in the South. In my neighborhood (a lot farther south than the photo) no one had air conditioning in their home in 1955 and AC in a car was considered a ridiculous idea only for people flaunting their wealth.

    2nd Photo — Probably 1942. The Chevrolet seems to be a 1941 model and shows some use. The 1942 NC tag was yellow with black numbers as seen in the photo. 1943 carried over the 1942 tag with a black tab on the bottom corner which is not apparent in the photo and 1944 tags were black with yellow numbers, With tobacco forming a large part of NC’s income the state had a lower tobacco tax than other states and tobacco stores near tourist routes did a huge business in bootleg cigarettes carried home to other parts of the country. Going to college in Tennessee, whenever I would visit my (future) wife in NC all of my smoking friends would have me buy cartons of cigarettes for them.

    3rd Photo — The Ford Crown Victoria beneath the escape ladder is a highly desired model these days.

    • Hi DLYNSKEY,

      I understand in the sixties, the wise guys had semi-loads of NC cigarettes hauled to NY and sold them in cigarette machines at the regular price, without paying the NY tobacco tax.

    • Probably a 42 Chevy. A couple of 41 Chevies in our family over the years so know that 41s were the only year of that generation that didn’t have front fenders fading into the doors.

  12. There are five arrows/signs directing one to the front door of Mrs. High’s.
    Must have been some complications on that front.

    • The circular sign with arrow above the main entrance looks like a re-painted Western Auto sign. Makes one wonder if the restaurant space was formerly a Western Auto store.

      • I think they just wanted you to know you had to enter the restaurant through the hotel lobby. Didn’t want to lose any confused customers. Probably had people walking around the corner to the left of the building looking for an entrance.

  13. My grandfather had a 1937 Buick like the one in the 2nd photograph. During WW II, while my dad was in the service, my mom and I would sometimes take the train from Delaware to New York and visit and stay with my grandparents who lived in Brooklyn. I remember my grandfather picking us up at the train station in that Buick. I would ride in the back seat on the drive to their house and can remember the smell of the inside of that Buick: the rubber floor mats and the wool upholstery. I remember, too, some sort of long upholstery cord which spanned the width of the back of the front seats which may have had an ashtray mounted there which pulled out from the seat . If I could somehow find myself again in the back seat of that old Buick (which wasn’t so old then) even blindfolded I think I’d know where I was.

  14. Daniel, I believe the cord was for hanging coats and, in cold weather possibly a blanket. Most or all cars had them. I don’t know when they began to disappear.

    • My dad had cars with those cords in the back, thirties and some forties model cars. I think they were gone with the new 49’s and later models.

  15. Hello Roadmaster. Wow! That’s quite an informative article on the Cadillac body style through the years. To me it’s still a hardtop. LOL.

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